announces shortlist for its Top Franchisee of the Year


Thirty franchisees have been shortlisted for’s second Franchisee of the Year Award, voted for by members of the public.

The Award is the only one of Top Franchise Awards which is judged by the public. Voting is open until 1st April.

The Top Franchise Awards are sponsored by HSBC plc and celebrate both inspirational franchisees and franchisors who have empowered women in business – not only by providing a successful flexible business model, but by giving franchisees the advice and support they need to succeed. Forward Ladies is media partner.

The 2017 Top Franchise Awards winners will be announced on 16th May 2017.

The online ceremony will include an awards presentation, a Q&A session and opportunities to network with peers. This event provides a great platform to celebrate passion and achievement within the franchise industry.

The Franchisee of the Year Award recognises franchisees for their achievements in the last 12 months. From exceptional customer service to overcoming challenges, the public are voting on the franchisee they feel deserves recognition. Shortlisted are:

  • Abigail Curtis from Lingotot
  • Antonia Wray from Little Learners
  • Claire Conby from Talking Tots
  • Claire Pearson from Bright & Beautiful
  • Emma Maddison from Little Learners
  • Fiona Haining from Rhythm Time
  • Gayle Cryer from Tinytalk
  • Jessica Willingale from Little Learners
  • Joanna Cameron from The Creation Station
  • Jo Rayson from Little Squigglers
  • Justine Leetham from ARTventurers
  • Kelly Brougham from Jittabugs
  • Rebecca Wootton from The Creation Station
  • Laura Barker from Rhythm Time
  • Lisa Cryer from Kalma Baby
  • Lindsey Cockrill from Little Squigglers
  • Lynsey Ritchie from Sling Swing
  • Melissa Oliver from ARTventurers
  • Natalie Porter from Cook Stars
  • Nicki Smith from Creation Station
  • Nikki Baillie from Sling Swing
  • Philippa Hennessy from Darling Magazine
  • Rebecca Johnson from Sling Swing
  • Ruth Morris from The Creation Station
  • Sandra Reid from Bright & Beautiful
  • Sharon Fisher from The Creation Station
  • Shelley Crack from Swimkidz
  • Kat Gillespie from The Creation Station
  • Julia Martin from The Creation Station
  • Victoria Thompson from Kalma Baby

Last year’s Franchisee of the Year Award drew over 3,000 votes from the public and the winner was Claire White from Seriously Fun Swimming Schools. She was recognised for her achievements in building a highly successful, profitable business, with over 350 customers and a team of part-time teachers. A former secondary school PE teacher, she became a franchisee as a way of continuing her passion for teaching while having more control over her work schedule so she can enjoy family life. She says: “When I won the award, my youngest went into school and said that mummy had won an award for being the best.”

The other five award categories are:

Supportive Franchisor Award – to acknowledge franchises that offer the best advice and support to franchisees from the start of their journey and throughout.

Family Friendly Franchise Award – recognising the franchisor that offers the best Family Friendly concept.

The Franchise Award for Innovation – which will publicly acknowledge those franchisors who have continued to evolve and develop their offering as they have grown.

Best Newcomer Award – to recognise new flexible businesses that are growing fast, that are making themselves known in the marketplace and show great future potential.

Overall Top Franchise Award – which will be selected from all the above categories, and will take into account innovation, growth, support and the provision of a flexible business concept.

These five categories will be judged by Gillian Nissim, founder of; Kendall Braddock, Franchise Director of HSBC plc; Amy Leite, Senior Associate at Pinney Talfourd LLP Solicitors; and Griselda Togobo, Managing Director of Forward Ladies.

Gillian Nissim, founder of, said: “We are delighted to be holding our second Top Franchise Awards to celebrate inspiring flexible business models. Shortlisting for the Franchisee of the Year Award was difficult and this year’s list is longer than last, reflecting the number of entries we received and the high calibre of entrants. We hope they will serve as an inspiration to other parents thinking of setting up as franchisees. The best franchises offer both the benefits of self employment, but without some of the risks associated with striking out alone since franchisors have already demonstrated the viability of their business models.”

To vote for the Franchisee of the Year, click here. For more information about the other Awards and to enter, click here. The deadline for the other Awards is 3rd March.

Comments [1]

  • Sarah Cressall says:

    Fantastic to see so many talented and successful franchise business owners recognised for the achievements.
    Well done to you all.

    Sarah Cressall
    Founder The Creation Station

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